Cuyahoga County has more than 1,800 manufacturing companies, an industry sector that employs over 270,000 people and drives almost half of the economy in the region. Manufacturing has a deep history in Northeast Ohio and continues to thrive. In a recent survey of manufacturers, 69% of respondents documented 5% growth or more. We continue to have regional, state, and national recognition for manufacturing companies’ successes in innovation, growth, and culture.
However, there's a top issue that continues to hamper manufacturers' growth: attracting new, skilled workers.
Deep research and national, cross-industry workforce development consultation support the concept of a sector partnership. Sector partnerships that have a solid, practical application to the talent gap problems we are facing in Northeast Ohio.
A sector partnership is a dynamic collaboration of a regional group of employers, typically from a particular industry sector or sub-sector, who convene regularly with relevant providers of education, training, and other support services, and with the support of an intermediary focus on strategies for responding to their common workforce issues and needs.
The vision developed for the manufacturing sector partnership is:
The manufacturing sector in Cuyahoga County is a
for the people and economy of Northeast Ohio by being the
manufacturing education capital
of the U.S., and investing to unlock an
abundance of diverse, skilled people
to access, thrive in, and
love their careers
The three initial strategies that the manufacturing leaders have initially selected to move swiftly toward this vision are:
1. Partner with education and training providers to fill key manufacturing training programs to 100% utilization
2. Implement innovative on-ramps to career paths in manufacturing
• Cross-sector partnerships with hospitality, fast food, and/or distribution companies
• Connect with high-potential populations (for example immigrant, re-entry, disabled, and veteran)
3. Consolidate a "Voice of Northeast Ohio Manufacturing" for advocacy of key policies to enable our current and potential workforce members
The key components of all solutions include:
• Diversity and inclusion
• Work-based learning
• Front-line leadership development
• Career pathway development
MAGNET and Greater Cleveland Partnership, as the intermediaries for this sector partnership, are working diligently to deploy the core processes, recruit key leaders, and effectively facilitate the development of the needed solutions and activities to drive change and impact in the manufacturing community.